Keio University

Enhancing Sustainability of Global Society Through Jitsugaku (Science)

Plan Overview

Under the Top Global University Project, Keio University is committed to further social contribution and better international visibility to bolster its position as a world-leading research university.
Keio University founder Yukichi Fukuzawa aspired to "contribute to society through learning" and especially valued jitsugaku, or empirical science, that is, solving issues by thinking critically from a scientific approach in order to reveal the empirical truth. Since its founding, Keio has been guided by this unshakeable philosophy to nurture individuals who can think for themselves to identify issues and apply profound knowledge and unconventional wisdom to solve them. The world now confronts many critical issues, some of which Japan faces first among developed nations: ageing population and declining birthrates; grave risks to our economy, regional security, and everyday life; and a high demand for the creation of new values. In response to these issues, Keio has integrated its academic and research strengths into the three transdisciplinary initiatives of Longevity, Security, and Creativity. Centered around these initiatives, Keio will strengthen collaborative ties with the international community through active joint research, co-supervision of students, and academic exchange, and pursue interdisciplinary, international, and cutting-edge research to contribute towards the advancement of global society.
Each initiative is comprised of faculty members of Keio's undergraduate faculties and graduate schools who specialize in related fields to conduct research—from the fundamental stage to concrete application—within a university-wide framework. Together with Keio students and researchers within and outside Japan, they are carrying out practical research and education that transcends national and disciplinary borders. Keio will share the fruits of this research with the world by publishing foreign-language papers and collaborative papers coauthored with international researchers in order to both yield benefits throughout society and to become recognized as one of the world's leading research institutions.

The Global Interdisciplinary Courses (GIC) was launched in April 2016 to foster students who can play a key role within these initiatives. The GIC offers all Keio students a vast range of courses delivered in English and other foreign languages, and a classroom environment where Japanese and international students alike study together regardless of their nationality or major. These courses incorporate cross-disciplinary learning strategies that integrate both the humanities and sciences, and emphasize small class sizes that facilitate a more interactive and engaging learning environment. Undergraduate students will learn how to write research papers in a foreign language and acquire the basic skills necessary for presenting at international conferences. These courses will also help students who plan to continue on to graduate studies develop the communication skills and international mindset that are necessary in a global world through their participation in the initiatives' education and research activities, and their engagement with Japanese and international researchers. Going forward, GIC will expand to act as a common platform in which undergraduate faculties and graduate schools will not only establish specialized courses delivered in foreign languages, but also degree programs that allow students to obtain a degree at Keio University in languages other than Japanese.

In addition, Keio University established the Keio University Global Research Institute (KGRI) in November 2016 as a base to facilitate the further globalization of the university and become an international research university that can contribute to the betterment of society. KGRI will collaborate closely with Keio's academics and researchers whose work is related to the three initiatives and extensively share these research findings with the international community. By doing so, Keio aims to globalize by "enhancing sustainability of global society through jitsugaku (science)" and developing relevant human resources.

〈 Core Strategies and Results Thus Far 〉

1. Internationalization

Numerous International

  • We are always keen to grow our extensive network of leading partner institutions worldwide, which currently counts more than 260.
    (304 partners as of May 1, 2016 [up by 44])

Pioneer of Double / Joint
Degree Programs

  • We boast 23 double / joint degree programs with leading universities around the world—the most of any university in Japan—and will expand and increase these programs to 35 in ten years' time.
    (25 programs as of May 1, 2016 [up by 2])

Keio's Education and
Research Abroad

  • We have ambitious plans to increase the number of overseas research hubs from the existing 3 in Singapore (CUTE Center) and France (CNRS & MINATEC) to 15 in ten years' time.
    (15 research hubs as of May 1, 2016 [up by 12])

2. Welcoming Internationally-Minded Researchers

New Tenure Track Opportunities for Early-Career Researchers

  • We offer the best early-career researchers from around the world a chance at tenure.
    (37 recruitments in AY 2015 [up by 1])

Cross Appointment Opportunities for International Research Experts

  • We welcome prolific academics overseas to advise the next generation of researchers (mainly doctoral students), both remotely and in person at Keio.
    (975 international faculty members as of May 1, 2016 [up by 98])

Recruitment of Qualified Academic Faculty

  • We are proactively recruiting international faculty members who engage in interdisciplinary, international education and research for the GIC courses and the three initiatives.
    (975 international faculty members as of May 1, 2016 [up by 98])

3. Diversifying Our Education

Doubling the International Student Population

  • We will more than double our international student population over the next 10 years.
    (1,691 students as of May 1, 2016 [up by 271])

Degree Programs Offered in English

  • Seven undergraduate and graduate programs currently offer degree programs in English. These programs will expand throughout the entire university.
    (13 programs as of May 1, 2016 [up by 1])

Short Programs

  • We are increasing the number of intensive short-term programs available for students to experience Japan and get a taste of Keio student life.
    (More than 400 students in AY 2016)

4. Bolstering Our Research

Close Ties with Industry

  • Our ties with industry have made us one of the top universities in Japan for commissioned research funds, which we will double in ten years' time.
    (9.4 billion yen in AY 2015 [up by 3 billion yen])

Creating Intellectual Property

  • Keio's innovation and IP creation have also been lauded by industry. We now have plans to double patent acquisitions in our ten-year plan.
    (1,117 patents in AY 2015 [up by 182])

Sharing Knowledge

  • We are actively seeking collaboration through joint research across international borders in order to enhance the quality of research.
    (Establishment of KGRI in November 1, 2016)